Hello my name is Olivia Jefferson, I’m 28 years old and living proof that once you drop the excuses and get serious about living healthy the weight will drop off! But only if you stick to it!

I was 196lbs when I walked into Bridget’s office on March 26, 2012. I cried so hard when I couldn’t even do one push up! I felt so weak and out of shape. However, that meeting with Bridget really helped me focus on my goals and eliminate excuses. She taught me how to prepare a-weeks’ worth of meals on Sunday for my husband and I so I could make sure that I had time after work to exercise. She taught me how to incorporate the foods I loved, while eating them in smaller portions so that I wouldn’t binge eat on sweets and bread. Likewise, I learned how to incorporate weight lifting into my exercise routines. Weight lifting isn’t easy, but I must say I love the burn and the joy of adding more and more weight to my routine because for me it translates to “strength” and “endurance.”

At first it was hard to get into the routine. I started with trying to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, and even began to eat veggies for breakfast, just so I could ensure I got enough servings in for the day. I struggled, but would somehow fight those inner demons and push myself to eat healthy. It’s truly amazing what you can do once you make up your mind! Of course there were days, when I was totally upset because I wasn’t losing any weight or my weight would plateau for weeks at a time, but through the frustration and tears, I kept telling myself “you have nothing to lose but weight, so don’t give up.” I began to follow people on Twitter and Instagram who were also focused on healthy living. It was so encouraging seeing so many young people eating right, exercising, and encouraging each other. Through social media, I created a mini-support system for myself. For example, one the best quote I heard one day on Twitter was “If you’re tired of starting over, STOP quitting.”

My routine consists cardio (elliptical) for 60 minutes at least 5-6 days per week. In addition I do strength training 3 days per week. It’s an intense schedule, but if you’re committed you will see the results. I am not a diet person, so now I just try to count my calories using the free “My Fitness Pal” application found on most smart phones. I aim to stay within 1200 calories per day, which is possible once you’re dedicated and serious about losing the weight for life! As of today, I have lost 30 lbs (166lbs) and it feels great! I feel so much better inside and out.

Of course I still have more to lose, but I’m so thankful for progress. I’m a size 10 from a 16 and accomplishing that alone feels great. A healthy diet and exercise does work, you just have to stick with it. I can finally say, “I’m healthy, happy, beautiful, and STRONG, look what I’ve accomplished!” I am committed to my new life style 100% and will never again go back to my old habits I can’t just throw away all my hard work. It’s not about just looking good, but also looking at yourself from the inside and finding the healthier you. Here’s to a long and healthy life! J